A cold outbreak over the Gulf of Persia in early February 2017 led to record-low temperatures over a large part of Oman.
By HansPeter Roesli (Switzerland)
Over the higher areas of the Al Hajar mountains and Musandam Governorate, ice formed in puddles and there was a thin covering of snow in places. After the clouds had cleared, satellite imagery picked up images of the snow remnants on the highest part of the Musandam peninsula. Over the plains, for the first time since records began, temperatures dipped as low as 5 °C.
The Meteosat-8 image from 4 February 08:00 UTC (Figure 1, above right), which combines the Natural Colour RGB with the high resolution visible (HRV) channel in semi-transparency, shows a little patch of snow in a light blue colour.
Natural Color RGB
View image on Google Earth
Natural Color RGB overlaid on Google Earth
The Natural Colour RGB from Suomi-NPP shows a sharper scene at 375 m spatial resolution (Figure 2). Overlaying this image on Google Earth map gives a 3D-rendering of the snowy area (Figure 3).
As well as the rain and snow, the cold outbreak brought chilly winds that lifted desert dust over inner Oman.
Further away, the winds blew dust from the Iran-Pakistan border regions into the Arabian Sea. On the MODIS True Colour RGB, 4 February 06:58 UTC (Figure 4) the off-white of dust stands out over the blue water. The snow in Musandam is also visible, as a tiny white spot.